Marketing 4.0: A book review by Bob Morris

Marketing 4.0 Moving from Traditional to Digital
Philip Kotler with Hermawan Kartajaya and Iwan Setiawan
John Wiley & Sons (Dec ember 2016)

How “convergence marketing” can create or increase demand among those whose preferences must be accommodated

I have read all of Philip Kotler’s previously published books and reviewed most of them. It has intrigued me in recent years to observe how skillfully he has adjusted his core concepts to the major changes that have occurred in what has become a much more volatile, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous global marketplace than at any prior time that I can recall. He has adapted his thinking to these changes and thereby helped countless business leaders to do so, also.

As he explains, “In Marketing 3.0, we talked about the major shift from product-driven marketing (1.0) to customer-centric marketing (2.0), and ultimately to human-centric marketing (3.0)…We believe that technology convergence will ultimately lead to convergence between digital marketing and traditional marketing. In a high-tech world, people long for high touch. The more social we are, the more want things that are made for us. Backed by big-data analytics, products become more personalized and services become more personal. In the digital economy, the key is to leverage these paradoxes.

“In this transitional era, a new marketing approach is required. Thus, we introduce Marketing 4.0 as the natural outgrowth of Marketing 3.0. The major premise of this book is that marketing should adapt to the changing nature of customer paths in the digital economy. The role of marketers is to guide customers throughout their journey from awareness and ultimately to advocacy…In essence, Marketing 4.0 describes a deepening and a broadening of human-centric marketing to cover every aspect of the customer’s journey.”

This book was written with Hermawan Kartajaya and Iwan Setiawan but the voice is clearly Kotler’s. These are the major business subjects on which they focus:

o Three power shifts to the connected customer
o Paradoxes of marketing to connected customers
o Three influential digital subcultures
o Fundamentals of Marketing 4.0 in the digital economy
o The new customer path
o Marketing productivity metrics
o Industry archetypes and best practices
o Human-centric marketing for brand attraction
o Content marketing for brand curiosity
o Omnichannel marketing for brand commitment
o Engagement marketing for brand affinity

In L. Frank Baum’s classic, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy Gale’s ultimate destination is not the Emerald City; rather, her home in Kansas. With regard to Marketing 4.0, there are two destinations: WOW! and then a sale that begins a long-term, profitable relationship with each customer. “WOW is an expression that a customer utters when experiencing a speechless delight.” Three characteristics constitute a WOW: “First, a WOW is surprising. When one has a certain expectation but gets much more, that is a WOW moment. A deviation to an expected outcome is what creates a WOW. Second, a WOW is personal and can be triggered only by the person experiencing it…Finally, a WOW is contagious. One who experiences a WOW moment will advocate and spread the good news to many others.”

Then what? “Winning companies and brands are those that do not leave WOW moments to chance. They create WOW by design. They productively guide customers from awareness to advocacy. They creatively set up customer interactions from enjoyment to experience to engagement. Is your company one of the winners? If not, this book is a “must read.” In it, Philip Kotler, Hermawan Kartajaya, Iwan Setiawan explain HOW with an abundance of valuable information, insights, and counsel. Theirs is a brilliant achievement. Bravo! Or perhaps more to the point, WOW!

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